German Tri-Coloured Tin Toy

German, tri-coloured tin toy, saxophone-shaped, vintage musical toy

Source: rummagegirls on eBay.com

This interesting, saxophone-shaped, tri-coloured tin toy is from Germany, and bears a striking resemblance to 2 other German-made toys from approximately the same era: the Luxophon and the Sirenephone. It’s almost like the makers of these German toys, were taking a page from the German saxophone manufacturers of the day: Borrow design ideas from a competitor, and have their own sax-shaped “things” almost indistinguishable from that of the other company.

While the Luxophon and Sirenephone may look very similar, they are different sizes. The Sirenephone is about 3″ longer. According to the seller, this tri-coloured tin toy is the same size as the Luxophon, which is 4″ long.

Source: rummagegirls on eBay.com

Like the Luxophon and the Jazzophon, this tri-coloured tin toy has the letters D.R.G.M. stamped on it.

German, tri-coloured tin toy, saxophone-shaped, vintage musical toy

Source: rummagegirls on eBay.com

The acronym D.R.G.M. stands for Deutsches Reichsgebrauchsmuster. I have seen it spelled a number of other ways including: Deutsches Reich Gebrauchsmuster, Deutsches Reichs Gebrauchs Muster, Deutsches Reichs-Gebrauchsmuster, etc. From all the research I’ve done on both German and English sites, there is no clear consensus on how it is spelled. However, more sites spell it Deutsches Reichsgebrauchsmuster than any other, so for now that’s what I’ll go with as well.

D.R.G.M., or sometimes DRGM, is not a German patent. It was instead a way for inventors to register a product’s design or function in all of Germany. From 1891 to 1952, products manufactured in Germany might have been stamped with this D.R.G.M. designation, if the manufacturer opted not to pay the outrageous patent fees that Germany was charging, but instead chose to copyright their product’s intended way of use, or design. This copyright was initially for a period of 3 years, with an option to extend it for another 3. This gave the copyright owner a maximum of 6 years protection.1

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1 Source: assistedknife.com